Safety Tips for Elderly: How to assist them to use a Commode

Health Care

A bathroom can easily become slippery, thus making it more unsafe. If a senior uses a walker or a cane, there’s not enough room to use the bathroom properly, leaving the elder looking for support and rely on sink or walls. With this, getting them a commode is an effective alternative that will help them when they need to use the toilet.

What is a Commode?

A commode is a movable toilet that looks like a chair with a toilet. It uses a container or a bucket underneath that serves as a toilet seat. If a person suffers from mobility issues, they can use it, however, the commode is not designed for comfort but it’s convenient that helps lessen the accidents in the bathroom. It can be easily cleaned by removing the container in the chair. There are different types of commode such as the bedside commode, transfer commode chair, over-the-toilet commode chair, and shower commode chair.

Things to consider before using a commode

Once you’ve decided to get a commode, there are things to consider before buy and use it.

  • You need to know what type of commode you need before buying one. If you buy a bedside commode but the person who will use it might have difficulty in standing or transferring from the bed to the commode, it will not be useful and you have to buy a new one like a transfer-commode chair. Be sure to invest in a good commode.
  • You have to clean it yourself or have someone to clean it regularly. Be sure you can do the task since the person using it most probably have no ability to do it.

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  • Does your bedroom have space for commode? If you have a small bedroom and you place a commode, it can be a hindrance at night that may even cause a problem. Be sure to invest in a commode that is portable and does not take so much space.

How to Help Elder Use the Commode

Even if you’re not a caregiver or don’t have the knowledge on helping the elders, there are some tips that I can give that can help you in assisting the elders. However, you have to be extra careful in assisting the person, if they can’t stand easily, don’t force them to avoid injuries.

They have something to hold on to

Before they lower themselves to the commode, make sure that the person has support where they can hold on to. It can be you if you can properly hold the person or a steady fixture where he/she can hold before sitting on the commode.

They may be unable to clean themselves

If the person using a commode can clean themselves after, you still can assist them by passing the toilet paper or wet wipes. However, if the person cannot do it alone, you have to help do it. Help them to stand up, they can hold on to the fixture or to you, clean them with the toilet paper or wet wipes. You have to remember that if the person who uses the commode is a female, you have to clean it from front to back to avoid any infection.

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They need privacy

A commode is placed in an open space in the bedroom for easy access when the person is using it, you have to give them the privacy and leave the room if necessary and just tell the person to call you if he or she is finished and need help again.

Helping an elderly or a family member use a commode may be uncomfortable for you or you may feel embarrassed- it might not be easy at first but you can always ask for assistance to healthcare personnel so you’ll be enlightened and it will be a support for you during your first time. Reassure the person that they also don’t need to be embarrassed when you help them, so you have to clean it fast and assist them quickly.

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